As cases of Coronavirus multiply, it’s important to remember that one of the best forms of protection is prevention. Enhance your immune system with wholesome food to stay healthy, feel good, and full of energy. We spoke with Stephanie Schwartz, a nutritionist from the New York Presbyterian-Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, who gave us some useful tips on superfoods and immune boosters for the whole family.
“Eat the rainbow,” says Ms. Schwartz. It’s essential to have diversity in our meals, and there is no better season than this spring for fresh fruits and veggies. She says the colorful plants are rich in different vitamins that enhance our immune system and entertain the little ones as well. “You can give them green veggies one day, orange carrots on the next, and keep on mixing them in a rainbow.” Diversity is key to a healthy balanced diet with wholesome, nutritious food.
Fish is rich in Omega-3, while meat is full of iron and B-complex vitamins. Milk and dairy products are also packed with vitamin B, so make sure your child gets enough of these. Ms. Schwartz advises good hydration too. Children should drink a sufficient amount of water and milk as they are the best nutritious drinks with no added sugar.
Ms. Schwartz thinks all-natural ingredients are enough for a healthy diet, so there is no need for supplements, especially for the children. However, she advises parents to consult with their pediatrician if your child needs more vitamin D. This vitamin is hard to absorb from food, and some children might need a larger dose.
Last but not least, family eating should be a pleasure and not a quick stop at a fast food restaurant. Try to find time to prepare yummy homemade meals or spend some quality time with the family at a nice restaurant.” Eating should be a pleasurable experience for the whole family and children should enjoy it,” Ms. Schwartz says. “Involve them in preparing meals and show them how much fun it can be.”
Looking for some healthy snacks? Check out our list of The Best Healthy Snacks for Families That You Should Know About
Please note that any change or new food in your children’s diet should be discussed with your pediatrician. This list of fruits and vegetables is not exhaustive for full healthy eating. Please consult a doctor or a nutritionist.
Broccoli is bursting with nutrients and contains choline which is beneficial for your gut. Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins A, C, and E and minerals, as well as many antioxidants and fiber. It is one of the healthiest vegetables for your table.
Do you remember Popeye the Sailor and how the spinach made him strong? This plant really gives you superpowers! Spinach is rich in vitamins, numerous antioxidants, and beta carotene, which enhances the infection-fighting ability of our bodies. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when cooked as little as possible or even eaten raw in a salad to retain its nutrients. Some nutritionists say light boiling enhances its vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid.
This common winter vegetable is a regular ingredient in superfood dishes. The antioxidants strengthen your immune system and protect your body from diseases. You can add raw kale to your salad, prepare a healthy snack of kale leaf chips, mix it together with almost any other green veggie, and make a healthy-tasting smoothie.
Brightly colored bell peppers hold lots of vitamin A, which enhances your body’s mucosal barriers (easily damaged by infection). They’re also a rich source of beta carotene which supports your immune system. Beta carotene helps keep your eyes and skin healthy.
These little fruits are loaded with vitamin C and potassium as well as other vital vitamins. They are easily mixed in smoothies, baked oatmeal, or can be eaten as a snack. These purplish berries are anti-inflammatory vitamin bombs that charge you with energy and strength.
You need to make sure that your body has plenty of vitamin C to help your body fight off infections. Your body can’t store vitamin C, so you need to try and include foods that are rich in vitamin C as often as possible. If you’re not a fan of oranges, then you could try eating more tomatoes, peas, and peppers, or drink lemon juice.
Papaya is another fruit rich in vitamin C. Scientists say you can find 200% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in one papaya. Papayas also contain a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory properties. Papayas provide your body with B vitamins and folate, all of which are beneficial for your overall health.
Like papayas, kiwis are naturally full of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts white blood cells to fight infection, while its other nutrients keep the rest of your body functioning properly.